Vets’ Social Security Disability Cases Expedited

Military personnel who become disabled may be eligible for BOTH Social Security and VA benefits.

The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) offers expedited processing of disability claims for military service members who became disabled while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurred.

The need for an expedited program is clear: as of August 2011, approximately three million veterans reported having a service-connected disability according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) assigns each veteran with a service-connected disability a disability rating. Depending on the severity of the condition, ratings range from zero to 100 percent, in increments of 10 percentage points. According to the BLS, four in 10 veterans with a service-connected disability reported a disability rating of less than 30 percent, while approximately three in 10 had a rating of 60 percent or higher.